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LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
2018-03-03, 10:10 (This post was last modified: 2018-03-03 10:22 by zer0four.)
Post: #1
LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
I have an LP12, pre circus which is currently fitted with a modified Rega RB251 tonearm.
I am thinking of upgrading the tonearm, I have the original Linn Armboard as I used to have a Linn Basik plus fitted years ago when I bought the turntable. I've also got a Rega fit Armboard which is in use on the LP12 now.

The replacement tonearm would need to be easy to adjust VTA, it's the big downside of the RB251 for me having to use the spacer.

My guess is an Akito would be easier to adjust VTA due to collar screw ?

What are my options and importantly would the upgrade bring worthwhile improvement. I currently use a Denon DL110 but have used Moving Magnet cartridges from Nagaoka Rega Ortofon etc in the past. I tend not to use expensive
Cartridges and use ones under £400.

I have a budget of up to £1500.

Many Thanks

Linn Sondek LP12, Sole Subchassis, AO Modified RB251, Denon DL110, Heed Questar ,Naim Nac 122x,Naim Nap 150x, Flatcap 2x, CD5X, ProAc Tablette 2000
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2018-03-03, 11:51
Post: #2
RE: LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
Don't do anything until you have done the Cirkus bearing upgrade. That is most fundamental.

Akito arm (wish I have) is a very good arm but it is £1630!! That's more than your total budget. The Cirkus bearing is about £500.

In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace. And what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
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2018-03-03, 11:54
Post: #3
RE: LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
The AO Uniarm is available for both Linn and Rega geometry and so the choice is yours. I've listened to one and liked what i heard. If i was to change the Ittok on one of the LP12s here then that is the direction I would take (or a PU7 depending on available funds). I'm pretty sure that you can get an AO Uniarm within budget.

I had a Scottish built Akito and although it was OK it was nowhere near as good as this IIttok. I still have it (on my dad's Axis) and so did direct comparisons on the LP12 with the current Ittok and the Ekos II.

For your budget you could source an Ekos 2 - which if it had known provenance and in spec bearings would probably be your best use of the budget.

Primary: LP12, Dino/Dino+, KRDS/1, Akurate Tuner, USC, Sony BRP, Kinos, 3 x 5125, K400, Espeks, Ekwal, Katans, 2 x Sizmik 10.5, Stax 507. Stands Unique Supports
Secondary: LP12, ADSM (Exakt), Majik Exaktbox(i), K400, Keilidhs, Stands Unique Support
Tertiary: Raumfeld Connector, Classik, Kan IVs
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2018-03-03, 12:46
Post: #4
RE: LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
Definitely get the Cirkus and Kore upgrade done if you can...mine was a pre Cirkus LP12,with Ittok,and changing the bearing,plus the Kore upgrade and Trampolin 2 made a huge difference to the overall sound.

LP12/Lyra Argo/BAT VK3i/Krell KMA100s/B&W 805/WAD 300B/Cary 300B SEi/Quad ESL57
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2018-03-03, 12:55 (This post was last modified: 2018-03-03 12:58 by grimreaper46.)
Post: #5
RE: LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
(2018-03-03 12:46)alexs257 Wrote:  Definitely get the Cirkus and Kore upgrade done if you can...mine was a pre Cirkus LP12,with Ittok,and changing the bearing,plus the Kore upgrade and Trampolin 2 made a huge difference to the overall sound.

I agree totally with the Kore. The only problem was after the Cirkus upgrade a Kore would push him overbudget (and still without an arm).

I didn't suggest s/h arms as that is fraught with danger unless bought from a reputable dealer. To be honest I would go to a Linn dealer to get their available options. He would have to if he was having a Cirkus installed anyway. Where abouts are you zer0four?

Just noticed you have a Sole subchassis so you may not want to go to a Kore at this time.

In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace. And what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
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2018-03-03, 17:03 (This post was last modified: 2018-03-03 17:04 by grey17.)
Post: #6
RE: LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
Also with the Kore you need to commit to a specific tonearm geometry (Linn, Rega or SME). If the OP thinks the Rega or an arm using the Rega geometry may not be a given in the future, it maybe better to defer a Kore.

Analog: LP12 Lingo 4/Kore/Akito 3/Adikt/Trampolin 2, Lejonklou Slipsik 6, Arcam FMJ A22, ProAc D15 - REL 305
Digital: Heed Abacus - Power: PS Audio Dectet
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2018-03-03, 17:32
Post: #7
RE: LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
Thanks for all the recommendations, all of which have been really helpful.
I've had the bearing inspected in recent years, it's the version with the black sleeve and all appears ok with it. So I would rather look at other areas of the turntable. The sub chassis was replaced by a Sole Sub Chassis some time ago and bright about an improvement, the outgoing Subchassis had become warped over time.
The UniArm is an option that I will look into, alternatively a good used example of an Ittok which I could possibly have serviced and rewired.
This certainly gives me a lot of ideas.

Linn Sondek LP12, Sole Subchassis, AO Modified RB251, Denon DL110, Heed Questar ,Naim Nac 122x,Naim Nap 150x, Flatcap 2x, CD5X, ProAc Tablette 2000
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2018-03-03, 17:56
Post: #8
RE: LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
(2018-03-03 17:32)zer0four Wrote:  Thanks for all the recommendations, all of which have been really helpful.
I've had the bearing inspected in recent years, it's the version with the black sleeve and all appears ok with it. So I would rather look at other areas of the turntable. The sub chassis was replaced by a Sole Sub Chassis some time ago and bright about an improvement, the outgoing Subchassis had become warped over time.
The UniArm is an option that I will look into, alternatively a good used example of an Ittok which I could possibly have serviced and rewired.
This certainly gives me a lot of ideas.

The bearing may be in good condition BUT the point is it is the limiting and most fundamental factor in the LP12's performance. The Cirkus bearing is the first upgrade on any LP12. Even a brand new perfect non-cirkus bearing is going limit any upgrades. In fact it should be done before a sub chassis up grade.

Ask any Linn owner, Dealer or HQ that will be the advice. It is of course up to you.

In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace. And what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
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2018-03-03, 21:14
Post: #9
RE: LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
I was in your same situation, as funds were limited and wanted cirkus. I put a Audioquest pt9 ( same as Jelco 750d except no S shaped arm or detachable head shell) and added Expressimo Audio brass stub and counter weight total cost $475.00 US for arm(used) and counterweight. I'm very happy and have compared it to a friends Ittok 3 on his table with same cartridge and we could not tell the 2 apart and he is a hard core Linn guy. I would like to upgrade one day but can I live with this arm a long tine if necessary.
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2018-03-04, 00:14
Post: #10
RE: LP12 Arm Upgrade Options
+1 for everyone recommending the bearing upgrade.
Linn’s philosophy.......and success has always been the source first, building from the inside out. For the money you are willing to spend, the correct course of action would be the Cirkus upgrade and the standard aluminum sub-chassis if you cannot afford the Kore (like me ?). The RB251 is a good arm with excellent bearings, the Dennon will sing like never before. Big GrinBig GrinBig Grin

86LP12 + 2015 Cirkus + Lingo2 + 2015 Standard Aluminum Sub-chassis/arm-board + Ittok LVII + 2017 Soundsmith rebuilt Troika + T-Kable + Tramp2 + Linto + Akurate CD + AV5103/AV5105 + 2X AV5125 + 2X Ninka + Trikan + 2X Komponent 104 + Sizmik10.25 + Silvers + Blacks + K400s + K20s
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